Blischak Law offers full-service DUI defense representation in Tempe, Arizona, and throughout Maricopa County. Tempe is a city with a population of almost 200,000 just outside of Phoenix. As it is the main campus of Arizona State University is located in Tempe, the city is densely populated. Home to both students and families working in the Phoenix metro area, Tempe offers amenities such as retail and dining on par with other cities of its size. Bordered to the north by the Salt River, which is dammed to create Tempe Lake, Tempe offers residents a number of outdoor and water activities in addition to shopping and dining. 

Although Tempe is serviced by the Valley Metro Rail, the light rail runs a limited route between Glendale and Mesa, with a focus on delivering passengers to downtown Phoenix. This can make it difficult to get around Tempe by public transportation and many trips often require driving. Reliance on a car increases the likelihood of being stopped for driving under the influence. Located in Phoenix, Blischak Law offers state and federal criminal defense representation, including DUI defense. The attorneys at Blischak Law represent clients in Tempe and throughout Maricopa County. If you have been arrested for DUI in Tempe contact one of our experienced DUI attorneys today to discuss how Blischak Law can protect your rights.

DUI Law in Tempe, Arizona

Under Arizona law, you are guilty of driving under the influence if you drive or have physical control over a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and are “impaired to the slightest degree.” However, the statute only presumes intoxication if, within two hours of operating a motor vehicle, your blood alcohol level registers at 0.08 percent or greater. If your blood alcohol level registers at 0.08 percent or less, the blood alcohol level may be considered in the overall determination of guilt or innocence of driving while intoxicated but there is no presumption of DUI.

Punishment For DUI in Tempe, Arizona

First Offenses

A first offense conviction for DUI is a misdemeanor in Arizona. Under the statute, a person convicted of misdemeanor DUI must be sentenced to ten days in jail and fined no more than $2,500.00 

A court may also order community service as punishment and must collect an additional $1,000 assessment, order the defendant to use an ignition lock device for twelve months, and order the defendant to complete a traffic survival course. The court may suspend all but one day of the defendant’s prison sentence if the defendant completes court-ordered alcohol and drug screening, treatment, or education program. 

Second Or Subsequent Offenses

Repeat offenses occurring with eight years of the first offense are subject to higher penalties. If convicted, a defendant must serve at least ninety days in prison, pay a fine of no less than $2,500, and perform at least thirty hours of community restitution. 

The defendant will also lose driving privileges for one year and upon regaining driving privileges, must use an ignition interlock device when driving for one year. The court must collect an additional $2,500 assessment and require the defendant to attend a traffic survival course. The court may suspend all but thirty days of the defendant’s prison sentence if the defendant completes court-ordered alcohol and drug screening, treatment, or education program. 

Aggravating Factors

In some instances where aggravating factors exist, a DUI may be prosecuted as a felony charge. Aggravating factors include;

  • “Extreme” DUI, or driving with a blood-alcohol level of greater than 0.15 percent; 
  • A third DUI in eight years; 
  • Driving while intoxicated with a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle; or 
  • Causing deadly or serious bodily injury while intoxicated.

Punishment for felony DUI requires longer prison sentences (at least thirty days) and larger fines and assessments (no less than $2,500) in addition to the possible revocation of driving privileges, community service, drug and alcohol assessments, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. 

Refusal To Perform Blood Alcohol Test

In Arizona, every licensed driver is deemed to have consented to a blood alcohol level test either by a breathalyzer or blood test if arrested on suspicion of DUI. A defendant’s refusal to blow into a breathalyzer or have blood drawn results in an automatic one-year suspension of driving privileges for a first offense. 

Evidence of a refusal to perform a blood alcohol test may be used in court and a police officer may still test your blood alcohol level by either obtaining a warrant or to the extent there is probable cause to believe you drove under the influence, by testing a sample given for any other reason (such as for medical necessity). 

Defenses to DUI

Defenses to DUI are similar to defenses to other criminal offenses and include illegal stops, searches, and seizures as well as failure to properly administer blood alcohol tests and proving a lack of intoxication. A skilled defense attorney will challenge the arresting officer’s every interaction with the defendant to make sure the entire encounter occurred according to procedure. For this reason, the facts and details of your case are very important and a proper defense can only be established after consultation and fact-finding. 

Contact a Tempe DUI Defense Attorney

Blischak Law recognizes that every DUI case has its own set of facts and legal challenges. However, the attorneys at Blischak Law understand your DUI case is the most important case to you and are equipped with the skills to assist you no matter the circumstances. If you are arrested for or are charged with DUI, it is important to have attorneys you can rely on to get you the best possible result. At Blischak Law our attorneys have criminal law experience and the skills necessary to get you the results you need. In Tempe, Arizona, contact Blischak Law for a free consultation today.